Greater Banjul Area
Greater Banjul Area consists of the City of Banjul (St. Mary’s Island) and the agglomeration of Kanifing Municipal Council (KMC) sometimes called (Kombo St. Mary Division). Occupying an area of 93 sq. km (less than 1% of Gambia’s land area), Greater Banjul Area is home to a population of 357,000 (26% of the country’s population). Banjul and Kombo St Mary (Kombo Tubab Banko) were acquired as British crown lands in a treaty with the King of Kombo in 1816. The City of Banjul, formally called Bathurst named after the Earl of Bathurst, who with Captain Alexander Grant founded the City in 1816, was renamed Banjul 1965.
Figure 1. Greater
Banjul Area. Yellow representing urbanized area.
The City of Banjul is the seat
of government with the State House and the National Assembly, Supreme
Court and all but a few of the Government departments based there. The
country's only port is in Banjul with it a number of fish landing and
processing facilities. Banjul's position as the largest city and the
center for commerce and trade is slowly being eroded by the emergence
of Serre Kunda and surrounding Kanifing Municipal Council formally
Kombo St. Mary Division as most populous and commercial center in the
population peaked in 1983 at 45,000. Since then over-crowing and
establishment of public transportation system has led to people
relocating to Kanifing Municipal Council. Since 1963, the population of
KMC increased from less than 12,000 to 322,700 (2003)
Figure 2. Population in Greater Banjul Area between 1993 and 2003
In the 1980s, the name Greater Banjul Area was adopted for the area consisting of both the City of Banjul and the Kanifing Municipal Council. This name change was merely a symbolic one as both cities maintained their separate mayors and administrative structures. Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, KMC continued to grow as the dominant city with all but a handful of the country's major hotels and tourism facilities based there. In addition the National Football stadium, the University of the Gambia and the countries Industrial Estate are in KMC.
urban surroundings the City of Banjul has a number of areas that are of
significance to preserving the country's biological diversity. The
city's extensive mangrove swamps and mudflats make it suitable breeding
and resting grounds for a large number of Palearctic migrant bird
species. The Tanbi Wetland Complex, an area south of Banjul is one of
the internationally significant wetlands in the country.
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